Somatic attachment therapy can help people who have endured trauma, especially trauma pertaining to interpersonal relationships. People who were separated from their parents at a young age due to death, illness, and other circumstances may have attachment-based trauma. This type of trauma can also affect people as a result of abusive romantic relationships and even negative experiences with friends.
Somatic attachment therapy focuses on the way trauma is stored in the body. Working with a counselor trained in somatic attachment therapy can help you heal from past wounds so you can enjoy healthier relationships. These are four things you can do to prepare for somatic attachment therapy.
1. Find a counselor you can trust
Trust is paramount in mental health care. Counselors talk to patients about deep feelings and formative experiences that can strike a nerve. That's why it's important to find a somatic attachment counselor whom you feel comfortable with. When you trust your therapist, you'll be able to let down your guard and do the work necessary to heal your trauma. It's perfectly acceptable to select a therapist based on their gender, religion, and approach to therapy, so feel free to be as discerning as you want when looking for a therapy provider.
2. Discuss your intentions with people in your life
Somatic attachment therapy focuses on relationships. During therapy, you will be invited to reflect on relationships in your life, both past and present. Noticing sensations that arise in your body when reflecting on these relationships can give you clues as to which areas in your life still need healing. At times, healing may require you to have difficult discussions with parents, friends, romantic partners, and other loved ones. Discussing your intention to pursue somatic attachment therapy ahead of time can help your loved ones prepare themselves for these conversations.
3. Get to know your body
Your thoughts are an important part of you, but those thoughts arise from your brain, which is part of your body. Your body can offer many clues as to your mental state. People sometimes repress trauma, only to find that it manifests in physical symptoms. Your somatic attachment counselor can help you become alert to this mind-body connection. Taking the time to practice noticing your body's needs and sensations outside of therapy can help you make progress.
4. Commit to attending each therapy session
Therapy isn't always easy. At times, you may feel uncomfortable in both your body and mind as you process past trauma. You may even feel like quitting, but it's important to stick with somatic attachment therapy in order to reap the results. Make a commitment to yourself at the beginning of your therapy journey to see the process through, even when it's difficult.